Mandeville, LA – Exclusive Audio & Transcript – This Clip of The Day was originally aired and published on Apr 10,2012 and is part of the Founders Pass Flashback Collection.
If you really want to learn about conservatism and little r [r]epublicanism, the best material to study is the source material, and the cream of the crop is the Ratification Debates. Even Massachusetts, one of the most liberal states in the Union, had debates about whether their Country (yes, they considered their “state” to be their country) should join a union and what were the pros and cons of doing so. Check out the audio and transcript from today’s show for more.
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Begin Mike Church Show Transcript
Mike: Let’s go to the phones. There’s a lot more to get to today, folks. I have a lot on conservatism in a very thoughtful manner, and we’re going to get into it here. So just be patient, bear with us. Let’s start with Jeremy in Indiana. Hello, Jeremy. You’re first up here today on The Mike Church Show, Sirius XM Patriot Channel. How are you?
Caller Jeremy: Doing good, Mike. Happy Easter season.
Mike: Happy Easter season to you, too.
Caller Jeremy: Thanks. It’s good to hear you. I thought we were going to have to rename your show the Trotskyite Junction there for a while. It was hard going without you, buddy. You’re really hitting on something. I took your advice and I bought M.E. Bradford’s Reactionary Imperative.
Mike: Good choice.
Caller Jeremy: It’s a great choice. I think this word conservative can be quite ambiguous. I prefer to call myself a patriot now after reading that book. Being reduced down to an economic man isn’t something that I really care for. I think communism and capitalism both want to reduce a man down to nothing but a number —
Mike: Bingo! Bingo!
Caller Jeremy: — because of their materialistic stance.
Mike: Jeremy, you just nailed it. Right there, you just said it. That is the error, one of the errors, of the modern conservative movement. We have reduced humans to statistical numbers, statistical imperatives. [mocking] “How many DVD players do you have? You got two or two and a half? How many square feet is your house?” You’re right about that. Isn’t it interesting, though, that the bourgeois capitalist and the Bolshevik communist both do the same thing. Interesting. Coincidence?
Caller Jeremy: They do. As I read Bradford, especially the Southern agrarian tradition, and other writers, too, I’ve come to this conclusion that both of them seek to separate man from his blood, from his soil and from his traditions. I believe that’s really where conservatism is. I prefer to use the word patriot now because I believe in home rule and what’s good for the community. I think Ayn Rand and a lot of these radical individualists have really confused what conservatism is. I’m not talking about statism, quite to the contrary. It’s an anti-form of statism.
Mike: It’s republicanism. By the way, have you seen the bumper sticker and T-shirt that we’re going to introduce to the world tomorrow? “[r]epublican: If you have to ask, you’re part of the problem.” It’s a little ‘r’ in brackets to emphasize the little ‘r’ part of republican. Have you seen it, Jeremy?
Caller Jeremy: No, I haven’t. I will today.
Mike: You’re right. What you’re describing is republicanism. What a great Padawan you are, my friend. He’s a great student of what we teach at King Dude University around here. Please continue.
Caller Jeremy: It really is — my little part of Southern Indiana is a great place to live. People, a lot of times, they don’t think Republican/Democrat, they think what’s good for the local community, what’s good for my neighborhood, what’s good for my city. I really think that that’s where we need to go with this, get away from all this Fox News tripe. If you critique capitalism at all, you’re a communist. These people don’t understand any kind of non-Marxist critique of capitalism. I like the church. I love my church. I love my community. I’m just not the kind of radical anarchist who seeks to destroy everything. I think a lot of these Ayn Rand, and even Murray Rothbard who I respect with regard to monetary policy and gold, I think they get so wrapped up into this radical individualism that’s completely foreign to the American tradition.
Mike: You know what’s wonderful to read that you’ll really enjoy? Buy yourself a volume or two, just one a month if you can afford it, of those ratification chronicles from the University of Wisconsin. They’re edited by a historian by the name of Joseph Kaminski. Just read them. Even in Massachusetts, which we decry as the most liberal state in the history of liberal states, there were republicans. Elbridge Gerry was a republican. Samuel Adams was a republican. John Adams, not so much. In the debates over the Constitution, even in Taxachusetts, you will find the strain of republicanism.
The great Mercy Otis Warren, who wrote one of the earliest historiographies of the American Revolution, she published it in the 1790’s while it was still fresh in her mind. She was a friend of John Adams, actually. It was “A Great [r]epublican” with a little ‘r’. You use the [r] in brackets to denote it. What you’ll find there is them talking about their country. They’re talking about ratifying the Constitution. They’re talking about what damage or what gain is going to inure to their country. They don’t mean the United States. They specifically mean their country, Massachusetts, the Commonwealth of. It was a country to them. Virginia, the Commonwealth of, was a country to them.
I’ve talked about this till I’m blue in the face. I’m glad the audience is expanding and increasing in size, so maybe this gets circulated around. We all too often think in terms of U.S.A., of our empire, of our national country. That’s not the proper way to think about it. Your state is your first country. Your state is a party to a compact, a contract basically, that forms a union. A union cannot be sovereign. The United States at large is not a country. It is a union of countries, just like the European Union is, just like the Soviet Union was. [mocking] “Yeah, but Mike, the Soviets acted . . ..” Well, they were communists!
Jeremy, keep reading Bradford. Let me give you one more suggestion. If you’re going to read Mel Bradford, do yourself a favor and put on your daily reading list TheImaginativeConservative.org.
Caller Jeremy: Mike, one more thing. I got most of your DVDs. They are most excellent. I am awaiting your next movie, docudrama.
Mike: Funny you should mention that. I actually wrote the prologue over the last two days for the next film. In a future episode of the post-show show, I’m going to tell you all about it. I mean that about those ratification debates. I think they are far more important historically speaking than the stinking Federalist Papers are. We’re just taught to hold, coddle, worship at the altar of the Federalist Papers. They are great political writings, don’t misunderstand. The ratification debates, though, will give you a window into what it was that the American Revolution established in the hearts, minds and politics of the founding generation.
You will no longer want for a definition of original intent, which is supposedly so elusive that no human being could ever grasp it. You have to be some super human in order to grasp original intent. You have to have gone to Yale or Harvard or Brown or Cornell or some other Ivy League university where you can stew in the elitist fog there. Then finally, true understanding will come to you.
End Mike Church Show Transcript